Most Liver Transplant Candidates Receive Donation Offers
UCSF News reports on a study that found that the vast majoirty of liver transplant candidates who died or were delisted from the transplant list had previously received one or more liver donation offers:
Most liver transplant candidates who died or were removed from the transplant list actually received one or more liver donation offers, according to a recent UCSF study.
“What we found challenges the simplistic view that transplant dynamics are driven simply by organ availability,” said lead author, Jennifer Lai, MD, (pictured right top) assistant clinical professor in the UCSF Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “Efforts to reduce wait-list mortality must target all aspects of mismatch between supply and demand.”
Recognized as a world leader in organ transplantation since 1964, the UCSF Organ Transplant Service has performed transplants for more than 10,000 patients and has played a key role in defining the field. The UCSF Liver Transplant Program, designated as a “Center of Excellence” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, performs more liver transplants than any other hospital in Northern California – over 2,300 liver transplants for adults and children since it began in 1988.
For this study, the research team analyzed data from 33,389 candidates listed in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)/Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) registry during the time frame of Feb. 1, 2005 to Jan. 31, 2010. Out of the candidates who had died or been delisted, 84 percent received one or more liver offers prior to death/delisting, indicating that they had an opportunity to undergo transplantation. Reasons for liver offer refusals were reported as donor quality/age or other donor-related factors, size compatibility or recipient readiness.
“Understanding the real-time factors involved in the decisions regarding liver transplant offers is vital to improving the wait-list process,” said senior author, John Roberts, MD (pictured right bottom), professor of surgery and chief of the UCSF Division of Transplantation. “While some of the factors are beyond control, others can be managed.”